Jets'Thanksgiving Stinker Raise Doubts On Future QB
HEMPSTEAD, NY- The entire country witnessed another Jets defeat in what is now a lost season when the Dallas Cowboys dominated the Thanksgiving afternoon game, 34-3.
Kellen Clemens endured the worst outing of his professional career in the nationally televised game, throwing for no touchdowns and an interception on just 12-27 for 142 yards.
But even before America's Team abused them on both sides of the ball, the Jets were already playing out the string.
With a 2-9 record, the only drama remaining is if Clemens can prove he is the team's quarterback of the future.
The last five contests will also allow rookies Darrelle Revis and David Harris to get comfortable in the defense, since both the cornerback and linebacker will be expected to lead a potentially revamped defense for 2008.
Coach Eric Mangini placed Revis on Pro Bowl wideout Terrell Owens. Revis held Owens to just six catches and played well through the first three quarters before surrendering a touchdown in the fourth quarter with the game already decided.
"The one thing that I try and do is if something happens to me once, I make sure that it doesn't happen again," said Revis, the Jets first-round pick who missed 20 days of training camp in a contract dispute. I study off of that and put that into my game, so the next time the situation comes around, I will be well prepared for it."
Clemens will also be looking to learn from his mistakes. The 24-year-old led his team to an upset victory over the heavily favored Pittsburgh Steelers at home, though regressed in his following start in Dallas. Mangini refused to single out the offensive problems on his quarterback, who was sacked three times.
"We weren't very effective on third down and weren't as effective as we needed to be in the red zone," Mangini said. "Those are two areas where we historically have been strong and have been pretty good throughout the course of the season.
"It's the same thing in the running game with being able to establish some type of rhythm there to slow down the pass rush. It all plays in together."
The offensive line- a strong suit during 2006's playoff run- continued to struggle. Clemens was constantly pressured and running back Thomas Jones managed just 40 yards on 11 carries, getting bested by brother and Dallas back Julius Jones (14 carries for 64 yards).
Clemens has throw three touchdowns against six interceptions and are 17-49 in third down situations while facing tough pressure.
"There have been times where it's been very good. The pass protection overall against Pittsburgh was pretty good," Mangini said when asked about the line's recent performance.
Receiver Jerricho Cotchery also supported Clemens, who was forced to play without primary wide out Laveranues Coles. Coles missed the game due to an injury.
"He is a guy that has a lot of confidence in himself and a lot of confidence in his ability," Cotchery said. "He has great ability. "He can do some great things in this league.
He will be fine."